Delphi Corp. said on Monday that it expects 2004 earnings excluding charges to grow to $US400 million to $500 million, or 71 cents to 89 cents per share, due to stronger US sales of cars and trucks and the benefits of its cost cutting, Reuters reported.

According to the news agency, Delphi, in the midst of a restructuring programme aimed at cutting 8,500 jobs worldwide, said it expects stronger sales next year and also expects to be cash-flow positive, which will allow it to continue its dividend payments.

"Our challenge will be to rapidly restructure our operations in mature, higher-cost markets and realise aggressive attrition goals to achieve cost-reduction targets," Delphi vice chairman and chief financial officer Alan Dawes reportedly said.

Analysts expect 2004 earnings per share of 86 cents, according to a survey by Reuters Research, a unit of Reuters Plc.

Including the charges, Delphi reportedly said it expects net income of $280 to $380 million in 2004.

According to Reuters, Troy, Michigan-based Delphi said it expects 2004 revenue to grow between 1% and 2% to $28.0 billion to $28.5 billion. Sales to customers other than former parent General Motors are expected to grow by 13% next year to account for 43% of total sales.

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